Willow Cottage - Sunshine and Secrets* by Bella Osborne
"Beth is running away. With her young son Leo to protect, Willow Cottage is the lifeline she so desperately needs. Overlooking the village green in a beautiful Cotswolds idyll, Beth sees a safe place for little Leo.
When she finally uncovers the cottage from underneath the boughs of a weeping willow tree, Beth realises this is far more of a project than she bargained for and the locals are more than a little eccentric! A chance encounter with gruff Jack, who appears to be the only male in the village under thirty, leaves the two of them at odds but it’s not long before Beth realises that Jack has hidden talents that could help her repair more than just Willow Cottage.
Over the course of four seasons, Beth realises that broken hearts can be mended, and sometimes love can be right under your nose…"
I am super happy today to have an interview with the really awesome author Bella Osborne. Her new book is such a lovely read that is just great for these lovely sunny days we have been having lately.
I hope you really enjoy the interview and you can buy the book from Amazon now.
1. I loved this story; it was just so charming and sweet. For anyone who hasn’t read the book yet, can you tell us a little bit about it?
Firstly, many thanks, Emma, for having me on your blog today.
At the core of the story is the friendship between Beth and Carly and the story interchanges between the two of them.
Beth and her young son are running away and find themselves in a beautiful Cotswold’s village miles from London and everything that is familiar to them. When she finally uncovers the cottage, which she bought on a whim, from underneath the boughs of a weeping willow tree Beth realises this is far more of a project than she bargained for. The locals are more than a little eccentric and Beth’s first encounter with Jack, who appears to be the only male under thirty, doesn’t go well.
Carly is desperate to have her fairy-tale wedding but as Fergus is busy gaming and quite happy with how things are she has more than a challenge on her hands.
As both women face more difficulties they both have to fight for what really matters.
2. What was the inspiration behind the book, have you ever done any DIY cottage makeovers?
My publishers were keen to build on the success of my first book ‘It Started At Sunset Cottage’ but this time they wanted the cottage to be the main focus of the story.
I’ve not been lucky enough to live in an old property like Willow Cottage but I did once buy a repossession, which was a bargain but needed a lot of work so I’ve done my fair share of DIY!
3. The book features an array of eccentric characters that I think bring so much humour to the story, who was your favourite character to write?
That is so hard to answer – it’s akin to asking which of your children do you love the most!
Fergus and Shirley are probably the characters that surprised me. They are secondary characters so their back stories were not as well defined when I started writing. They both quickly developed and presented me with fascinating histories that I was only too pleased to write into the story.
4. The book is coming out in four short instalments. Can you tell us what the other three books will be called and when they will be released?
Following Part One ‘Sunshine and Secrets’ we have Part Two ‘Christmas Cheer’ on 20th October.
Part Three ‘A Spring Awakening’ will be available 2nd March 2017 with the final instalment, Part Four ‘Summer Delights’ out on 4th May 2017.
The full paperback that pulls it all together into one book is also out in May 2017.
5. You have chosen to publish this book in a really new and exciting way, was that something you have always wanted to do rather than a traditional format for all your books?
It was something that my publisher suggested as an approach they would like to try with me and that they had seen work well for other authors. It sounded exciting so I was more than willing to give it go.
6. The four instalments of your book will only be available in an eBook format to begin with. I know a lot of authors are still wary of what eBooks mean for them. Do you feel it’s a format that you really want to embrace?
Absolutely. I was originally signed by Harper Impulse, which is a digital first imprint of HarperCollins, so without eBooks I would not have been published. It is an excellent way for publishers to take on new writers without the high costs of traditional publishing.
Also in a day and age where we want instant gratification the ability to quickly download a story to your eReader and immediately start reading it is so convenient for busy people – me included!
7. For anyone out there reading this who would love to become a published author, what would your advice for them be?
Make time to write. If you really want to write, then something else has to give; be it social media, the latest addictive game on your mobile, television, sleep or the cleaning – trust me in a year’s time you won’t regret not having done those things but you will regret not having found time to write.
Seek out other writers. I can’t explain how brilliant it feels to be around other writers. I would recommend joining groups, courses and the myriad of genre writing associations. I joined the Romantic Novelists Association on their New Writer’s Scheme and I have learned so much from their events, met some amazing writers and made some terrific friends.